We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Ancient Observatory (Guguanxiangtai)

Historic sites, Observation decks & towers, Museums, Sights & Landmarks
Improve this listing
Sponsored by:
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Your filters are still active.
There are no pins in your viewport. Try moving the map or changing your filters.
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: No.2 Dongbiaobei Hutong, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100005, China
Phone Number: 010-65242202
Website
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: Yes
Description: Eight huge astronomical instruments are displayed on an elevated platform...
Eight huge astronomical instruments are displayed on an elevated platform at this observatory, which was used during the Ming and Qing dynasties, and is one of the oldest observatories in the world.
read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 29 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 9
    Excellent
  • 15
    Very good
  • 5
    Average
  • 0
    Poor
  • 0
    Terrible
Most recent review
Amazing Little Museum

This is an amazing find. It was near my hotel so I decided to check it out and it was well worth it. It is very small but it does not get crowded. I maybe saw four other people... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed January 14, 2015
Tracy O
,
Langfang, China
Add Photo Write a Review

29 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Langfang, China
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
17 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2015

This is an amazing find. It was near my hotel so I decided to check it out and it was well worth it. It is very small but it does not get crowded. I maybe saw four other people while I was there. Plenty of signs in English help you to understand China's role in astronomy. Plus they have some... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
waje
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
11 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2014

A very quiet and informative corner of a very hectic section of a very large, hectic city. The large platform not only has many old astronomical devices but it commands a panoramic view of the city. There's even a garden below with various devices and statues among the flowers. Not everyone's cup of tea, but I found it relaxing and... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Seattle, Washington, United States
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2014

This was one of my favorite stops in Beijing, probably because it was the quietest place I found in the city. Though the ancient tools are maintained, the buildings and displays have not been updated for decades. Still the courtyard and rooftop were like little sanctuaries in the city with a glimpse of both the ancient and more modern past... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Canberra
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2014

Definitely off the beaten path, it was fascinating to see ancient astronomical equipment at the top of this old building near the centre of Beijing. A must-visit for anyone interested in science history or astronomy, or to see something genuinely different. You'll probably spend 45 - 60 minutes here.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Rio Linda, California
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
21 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2014

The Ancient Observatory is a museum showcasing China's development in astronomy. Most of the advances were made as a result of western influence, particularly Jesuit missionary sharing of western technology. However, the Chinese put their own spin on them. This site is very easy to get to since it is only about three blocks from the Beijing Railway station and... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Top Contributor
157 reviews 157 reviews
36 attraction reviews
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2014

This place is located right next to the Subway Line-2 Jianguomen Station, though you can see the ancient navigation instruments on top of a section of the old Beijing City Wall from far away. It is a small museum and an interesting one. Besides the ancient instruments on display, it also has three exhibition rooms, showing the history and technologies... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Beijing, China
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2013

The Ancient Observatory is an absolute gem in the heart of Beijing. If you are looking for an attraction that is different, historical and interesting then I'm sure this will be for you. I don't know why this is has criticized so heavily.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Daly City, California, United States
Top Contributor
159 reviews 159 reviews
118 attraction reviews
436 helpful votes 436 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2013

Tickets cost 20 RMB. There is a small museum in there that's not maintained really well. There isn't any english explanations on what is what. The main points of interest are the small garden located at the south end and the walk up to the tower which has the old instruments to measure the year at the top. Other than... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Tullamore, Ireland
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
33 attraction reviews
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2012

Although normally accompanied by my wife everywhere I went in Beijing, I went here alone. A Chinese lady was going to accompany me, but at the last minute she wasn't able to spare the afternoon, which was a shame as she could have done some translating for me! It was a pleasant sunny (but still cold) February afternoon. It cost... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
12 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2012

I wrote a book on a photographer named John Thomson who visited Beijing in 1870. He photographed the ancient observatory, and during our visit we were amazed to see it looks about the same. This is a sleeper for anyone fascinated by astronomy or even just unique aesthetics. The day we went with our Chinese friend, we had the place... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2

Travelers who viewed Ancient Observatory (Guguanxiangtai) also viewed

Beijing, Beijing Region
Beijing, Beijing Region
 
Beijing, Beijing Region
 

Been to Ancient Observatory (Guguanxiangtai)? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Register now for free — and start getting automatic notification of new reviews, responding to traveler feedback, adding new photos to your listing and much more.

Manage your listing

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Ancient Observatory (Guguanxiangtai) staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?